Comment: World-class military not exclusive luxury

08:59, January 07, 2011      

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The rumored Chinese stealth jet, or "aircraft-carrier killer," has been making headlines in the US. China-US relations, that seemed to warm around the New Year, now face a new wall.

There are numerous walls between the two powers. Some would try to help the two sides negotiate a path between the walls, while others attempt to bring the two to a dead end.

It is both natural and unnatural for the US to be concerned about China developing new weapons. Most powers wish that their superiority will last forever. China is growing up fast, and the US military edge over China is unavoidably shrinking.

Whether the reported new weapons are true or not, in the long run, China will own first-class weapons that are capable of competing with the US war machine. But owning these weapons does not necessarily mean China will attack the US.

The outcry among US media reflects the permeating surprise over China's military progress. This gap of expectation and reality is dangerous for Sino-US relations, and is worth the attention of both Beijing and Washington.

Some are even trying to estimate at what pace China's development, especially military progress, would be seen as tolerable for American society. Should China surpass this theoretical threshold, the danger could then be more easily ascertained.

Apparently, the US is not ready to treat China as a major power. They cannot accept the fact that China will sooner or later possess a first-class military. They are too used to the old power structure, in which China and other developing countries have long been treated unfairly.

Some American decision-makers swear by the role of aircraft carriers in the western Pacific, as if a few of these vessels could prevent the slumbering giant from waking.

China now faces a dilemma. Raising its voices in certain international affairs, it risks being labeled as tough or overly assertive. But China can no longer forego its own basic rights.

It will be a painful procedure. There will be many discussions about China's growing military power, that may even spiral into protest and criticism.

China does not need to be surprised by these events.

Similar to our adaptation to increasing frictions with Western countries, the older powers will also acclimatize to China's rise.

Source:Global Times
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